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Italy’s Eni faces a sixth daily shortfall of Russian gas supplies

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ROME — Russia’s Gazprom has said it will only partially meet a request by Italy’s Eni for gas supplies on Monday, Italy’s state-owned energy exchange (GME) said, signaling a sixth consecutive daily shortfall.

Eni is monitoring the issue and will communicate any available update, GME added.

The Italian company said that over the weekend it had received similar supplies from Gazprom to deliveries in recent days, without elaborating. On Friday it only got half of the gas it had requested, while on Thursday it received 65% of the volumes requested and on Wednesday was sent 85% of what it wanted.

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Gazprom did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment on its supplies to Italy.

Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said on Thursday that reductions in supply were not premeditated and were related to maintenance issues, but Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi has dismissed this explanation as a “lie.”

Russian gas flows fell short of demand in a number of European countries last week, boosting benchmark prices on concerns that the continent may struggle to build up vital storage ahead of the winter.

Italy may declare a heightened “state of alert” on gas this coming week if Russia continues to curb its supplies, two government sources said on Friday.

The emergency technical committee for gas is due to convene on Tuesday to discuss the issue.

A state of alert would trigger a series of measures aimed at reducing consumption, including rationing the gas to selected industrial users under existing contracts, ramping up the production at coal power plants and also asking for more gas imports from other suppliers under existing contracts.

Italy’s existing gas emergency protocol envisages three stages going from a state of pre-alert, imposed at the end of February after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, before moving to one of alert and then to a state of emergency. (Reporting by Crispian Balmer; editing by David Evans)

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